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January 2018 Archives

Victims of Crime

Individuals who are victims of crime frequently don't know where to turn and what to do after they contact the police. The police, typically do a solid job in solving the crime, but they can't always assist when it comes to helping a victim of a crime put his or her life back together again. Issues such as anxiety, sleepless nights and anger frequently linger for many victims. violent crimes Additionally, the criminal system can also be very arduous and scary. Not only as a defendant, but also as a victim. You should strongly consider contacting the experienced trial attorneys at the Law Offices of Kelly & Conte, if you are a victim of a violent crime or sex crime. Not only can our attorneys assist you with the legal process, but we also might be able to bring a lawsuit on your behalf.

Bringing drugs into jail Drug Crimes

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has very harsh Drug Crimes penalties for individuals that bring drugs into jail. The statute criminalizing these activities can be found in Title 18 section 5123 of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code. Specifically, the statute which is called: Controlled Substance Contraband to Confined Persons states that an accused shall face a minimum mandatory 2 years in state prison if he intentionally brings contraband (drugs) into a prison and delivers those drugs to an inmate. Intent to Deliver drugs The most serious aspect of this charge is that an accused must do a minimum of 2 years in state prison if he is found guilty of this crime or pleads guilty to it in court. The reality with minimum mandatories is that a Judge cannot give a defendant convicted of this crime less than 2 years in prison even if he wants to. As a result of the serious nature of this charge, an accused should immediately consult with an experienced Chester County Criminal Lawyer if he is being investigated for this crime.

Summary Appeal

A Summary Appeal is the legal mechanism by which a criminal defendant can appeal a summary conviction or guilty plea from a district court. A summary charge is a criminal or vehicle code charge that is graded as a summary. defending dui A summary is the least serious of all criminal charges, and ranks far below that of misdemeanors and felonies. An example of a summary charge that can be found in the vehicle code is driving with a suspended license, speeding or running a stop sign. Examples of criminal charges that are graded as summary's are underage drinking, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct. Whenever a defendant is cited with a summary charge, he may plead either guilty or not guilty. If he pleads guilty then he is accepting the fine which can be found on the front of the citation. If he pleads not guilty, then he will be given a summary trial before a district Justice. It is always a good idea to consult with an experienced Chester County Criminal Attorney if you have been charged with a Summary citation. Convictions can sometimes lead to a license suspension or even prison time.

Criminal Defense Double Jeopardy

In Criminal Defense work, Double Jeopardy stands for the idea that a criminal defendant can not be charged for the same crime twice. Specifically, the Fifth amendment to the United States Constitution states that nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb. assault crimes In criminal defense, people frequently believe that their double jeopardy rights have been violated even when they have not. For instance, a Defendant's double jeopardy rights do not attach at a Preliminary Hearing. If a District Justice dismisses the charges against a defendant at a Preliminary Hearing because the government's witnesses did not appear to testify, the government, if they wish, may re-arrest the defendant on the same crimes that were just dismissed. The reason for this is that jeopardy (as used in the 5th amendment) does not attach until either a jury is sworn in in the case of a jury trial), or the first witness is sworn in during a bench trial (which is a trial before a judge and not a jury).

Violent Crimes Three Strike Law

Pennsylvania has a three strike law which deals with minimum mandatory sentences that must be imposed by a Judge for criminal defendants convicted of committing violent crimes. A minimum mandatory sentence refers to a required sentence that a judge must give a criminal defendant under the law if the defendant is either found guilty of a certain crime or pleads guilty to a certain crime. assault crimes The statute dealing with Pennsylvania's version of the Three Strike Rule can be found in Title 42 Pa C.S. §9714. The statute states that any criminal defendant found guilty of committing a crime of violence, shall if he has been convicted of a prior crime of violence serve at least 10 years in prison. This 10 year minimum mandatory rule is known as a second strike Law. The Three strike Law states that any criminal defendant convicted of a third crime of violence in his lifetime shall be given at least 25 years in prison

Drug Crimes

Drug Crimes are crimes related to the possession of illegal narcotics which are generally graded as misdemeanors and also the sale of illegal narcotics which are graded as felonies. It goes without saying that felonies are more serious than misdemeanors. Drug Possession charges Additionally, the amount of jail time that an accused could be facing in regard to a felony charge is directly determined by the amount of drugs that the defendant was trying to sell at the time he was arrested. The larger the amount of drugs that the defendant was trying to sell, the greater the amount of jail time he is facing. Make sure to consult with an experienced Drug Crimes attorney about what can be done to challenge the evidence against you not only in the form of a suppression motion, but also in terms of arguing that the accused possessed drugs for personal use and not for sale.

Rape Investigations

Rape Investigations can be not only intrusive and uncomfortable, but they can also be overwhelming. One of the most frightening calls that a person can receive is a call from the police informing them that they or a loved one are being investigated for the crime of rape. Sex Assault What should a person do when he receives such a call? Well there are many common sense steps that a subject of a rape investigation can take. Let's review them here:

Accomplice liability

One legal term that not many people are familiar with is the phrase accomplice liability. Accomplice liability stands for the legal proposition that someone can be found guilty (criminally liable) for the acts of another person if they aided that person in the commission of a crime. Intent to Deliver narcotics What does it mean exactly to be an accomplice? How much does someone need to help a person committing a crime in order to become an accomplice? Well the unfortunate thing for individuals charged with being an accomplice is that they don't need to help that much in order to be found legally liable of being an accomplice. Specifically, an individual can be found guilty of being an accomplice in the sale of narcotics if he is simply a look out for the police. And an accused can be found guilty of being an accomplice in a robbery if he helps pick a store to be robbed and assists others enter the store in order to commit the robbery.

Criminal Defense Sentencing Guidelines

Sentencing Guidelines are one of the most significant factors to consider in criminal defense. The reason for this is that the sentencing guidelines help dictate how much prison time an accused is facing. One of the inevitable questions that every criminal defendant asks in criminal defense is: How much time am I going to do in prison? College Crimes Or what is the worst that can happen to me with this case? The fact is that being a criminal defendant is a scary proposition. Many criminal defendants are facing a number of unknows which only add to their anxiety. That is why it is very important to consult with and retain an experienced Chester County Criminal Defense attorney who has a deep understanding of the system. An experienced attorney should be able to inform an accused about not only the criminal justice system, but also what is likely to happen to the accused if he is convicted of or pleads guilty to the crime. Contact the former prosecutors at the Law Offices of Kelly & Conte today

Criminal Defense Investigation

One topic that arises with great frequency in the realm of Criminal Defense is what should I do if I am a target in a criminal investigation? arrest warrants The first thing to do, which really goes without saying, is to contact an experienced Chester County Criminal Defense Attorney immediately. The Justice system in the United States is not always fair. Innocent get charged with crimes and even convicted of crimes. Make sure to consult with an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney. At the Law Offices of Kelly & Conte, both Evan Kelly and Mark Conte are experienced former assistant district attorneys who are very familiar with how the police and the District Attorney's Office conduct investigations. You want to make sure that you hire an attorney who is not only familiar with the police and the DA's Office, but also knows how to communicate your side of what happened effectively.

What should I expect at a Preliminary Hearing

What should I expect at a Preliminary Hearing? A Preliminary Hearing is the first chance for an accused in the criminal justice system to challenge the evidence against him. As a result of its importance, many defendants ask, what should I expect at a Preliminary Hearing? Even though the Preliminary Hearing gives the accused his first chance to challenge the evidence against him, his rights at this hearing are severely limited. Defending DUI cases  Specifically, even though the defense attorney may challenge the government's evidence at this hearing, there are many things that can't be challenged. Specifically, the defense may not challenge the credibility of any government witness at this hearing. Meaning even if the defense shows that all of the government's witnesses are lying, the district justice is still not permitted to dismiss the evidence against the accused. Because the defense is not permitted to challenge their credibility. Additionally, hearsay is permitted at these hearings. Frequently, the government doesn't even need to call their actual witnesses to the stand at the Preliminary Hearing. Instead of calling the victim in a rape case, the government may sometimes put the police officer on the stand and let him testify about what the victim told him.

Assault Crimes

In Pennsylvania, assault crimes are generally defined as crimes involving the use of unlawful force. In Pennsylvania, there are several different assault crimes. Indecent assault lawyer The following is a list of crimes in Pennsylvania that are generally considered to be assault crimes:

DUI Chester County Intermediate Punishment Program (IPP)

Facing a DUI in Chester County, Pennsylvania can be a very scary proposition. This is in particularly true if it is not your first DUI. The applicable punishment for DUI's in not only very serious in Chester county, but they are also very serious throughout the state of Pennsylvania. DUI homicide These punishments are determined by minimum mandatories. And these Minimum mandatories are the reason that the Intermediate Punishment Program in Chester County is so highly sought after by many criminal defendants. Minimum mandatories are required punishments that have been mandated by the Pennsylvania legislature and governor. They require that a criminal defendant serve a mandated period of time in prison as a result of being convicted of a DUI. The minimum mandatory penalties for the DUI are based on the number offense that an individual has been convicted of in 10 years and the amount of alcohol or narcotics in the defendant's blood at the time of driving.

Criminal Defense Should I speak with the police?

One of the biggest issues that arises in the area of criminal defense occurs when an accused is contacted by the police and has to decide whether or not he should speak with them.  read about sex crimes It is a difficult question that even many seasoned criminal defense attorneys struggle with. Before we deal with this specific question, there are several general points that all individuals should keep in mind:

Criminal Defense False Confessions

This is a blog involving criminal defense issues relating to false confessions by individuals accused of crimes. One of the primary way that the government is able to obtain a verdict of guilty against a defendant in criminal defense cases is through the use of a confession. learn about assault crimes A confession is when an accused defendant claims or admits that he committed a crime that he ultimately becomes charged with. Obviously, at a trial a confession from a defendant is very powerful evidence that the accused committed the crime that he is charged with. And generally a jury believes and trusts in evidence stating that an accused confessed to a crime. Their reasoning is who would confess to a crime that they didn't commit. However, it has become evident that criminal defendants for a variety of reasons do occasionally give false confessions. Make sure to contact the experienced former prosecutors at the Law Offices of Kelly & Conte if you have been charged with a crime involving a false confession.

DUI Homicide

One of the saddest and most tragic types of cases that seems to occur around New Years Day is the charge of DUI Homicide. DUI Homicide is a particularly tragic crime because it almost always involves negligent conduct by the defendant (drinking too much) that lead to unintended consequences in the form of a vehicle accident and the killing of a completely innocent victim.  aggravated assault while DUIDUI Homicide is a very serious crime and the consequences can be quite severe. Specifically, there is a three-year minimum mandatory for this charge which means that a criminal defendant convicted of this crime has to serve at least the minimum of three years is prison. A judge can also sentence the criminal defendant to significantly more time as a result of the seriousness of the charge. Changes to this statute also appear to be imminent. Various papers have reported that the Pennsylvania legislature is considering legislation that will heighten the penalties for individuals convicted of this crime who have also been convicted for a prior DUI.

DUI and right to a lawyer

One question that comes up with great frequency regarding the charge of DUI in Pennsylvania is do I have a right to an attorney? Generally speaking the right to an attorney frequently comes up and is brought up the police when they read an accused his or her Miranda rights. DUI refusal to submit to testing The Miranda rights advise an accused that he or she has a right to an attorney before deciding whether or not to answer questions that the police have. The police are only required to advise an accused of his Miranda rights when the criminal defendant has been taken into custody. Under Pennsylvania law, custody means that an accused has either been arrested or placed into handcuffs. Accordingly, the police are not required to advise a criminal defendant of his or her Miranda rights until the defendant has been arrested. What is the penalty to the police if the police do not read or advise someone of his Miranda rights? The penalty or remedy is that any statements that a criminal defendant made to the police (when the officer was asking questions to the accused) are not permitted to be heard by the judge or jury

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